That’s what a Florida criminal did. The shop clerk who was shocked literally as well as figuratively displayed remarkable forbearance and merely drew a gun and let the crook bug out. He didn’t blow the guy into the middle of next week, which is what we would have done. It’s also what Florida law (and that of most other states) would permit him to do. But he probably did the right thing; his life wasn’t really at risk, the criminal was identified and ultimately caught by the police (not without some effort and risk on their part, to be sure). And he doesn’t have a death on his conscience (even the death of a worthless criminal, or an enemy met in combat, troubles some people). And perhaps the criminal, who’s still young, will reform.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office says 26-year-old Lance Tomberlin went into a store just outside Tallahassee on January 2, produced the cattle prod and demanded money from the clerk. Officials say he shocked the clerk several times before the clerk pulled a handgun.
Authorities say Tomberlin fled and another employee tried to restrain him, but he eventually escaped in his truck. Deputies stopped Tomberlin’s truck but he fled on foot.
Of course, Tomberlin might not reform, he might just go to prison and learn to shoot the next clerk first. In which case, blowing him away now will look a lot better in hindsight. You have to make your decision, and then you have to live with it — and so does everybody else.